The fans, the media and the legislators got what they wanted.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday asked Moin Khan to return home from the World Cup after the chief selector’s presence at a casino in Christchurch two days before Pakistan’s humiliating loss to the West Indies on Saturday sparked widespread outrage.
A video of Moin at the casino was put up on social media by a Pakistani couple who happened to be present there after which the PCB asked team manager Naveed Akram Cheema to launch an investigation and submit the report on Tuesday.
PCB calls back chief selector amid mounting criticism
“Moin told me that he had gone to casino for a meal with his wife and his friend and friend’s wife,” PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan told reporters on Tuesday, admitting that he felt the former Pakistan captain shouldn’t have gone to a casino when the team wasn’t performing well.
“I informed him that the issue had been raised in the Senate and the federal sports minister has also made a summary. There is also great resentment in the media and general public.
“Naved [Cheema] will now chair the touring selection committee with captain MisbahulHaq and head coach Waqar Younis,” he added.
The PCB had announced the decision to call back Moin in an earlier press statement.
“While there are widespread allegations against the conduct of the chief selector having brought the image of Pakistan and PCB into disrepute, there is no concrete proof available to substantiate the allegations against Moin Khan,” it said.
“Considering the sentiments of the public, media and various other stakeholders, PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan has ordered Moin to return to Pakistan immediately to explain his position visavis his visit to the casino.”
It is an open fact that it was public pressure which forced the PCB, which is under serious criticism after Pakistan’s backtoback losses in their opening two Pool ‘B’ matches at the World Cup, to call back Moin.
The former wicketkeeper, who was a part of the Pakistan squad which won the World Cup in 1992, had been enjoying different jobs in the PCB for the last 18 months.
And had he not been seen at the casino shooting himself in the foot it would’ve been difficult for the PCB to dissociate him from the Pakistan team affairs.
Moin has been blessed with numerous jobs in the board sometimes two or three at a time since Shaharyar’s predecessor Najam Sethi took charge of the PCB in 2013, remaining on tour with the team sometimes as a manager, headcoach or a chief selector.
He was both manager and head coach for the World Twenty20 last year before being included in the coaches finding committee which selected the current panel of coaches.
He remained manager and chief selector of the team till the series against New Zealand in the UAE in December last year before former Pakistan team manager Naveed was rehired for the World Cup.
Then Moin, with a strong lobby backing him, managed to go to the World Cup as the head of the touring selection committee an unprecedented move on part of the PCB.
His appearance at the casino not only cut his trip short but adds to a number of controversies which have overshadowed Pakistan’s World Cup campaign.
Eight players were fined for breaching a team curfew while fielding coach Grant Luden complained about the behaviour of some of the senior players.
Adding to that was the fact that Pakistan suffered a 76run defeat to archrivals India in their opener before suffering a 150run thrashing at the hands of the West Indies which left their hopes of progression to the quarterfinals hanging by a thread.